Govt cannot continue to guarantee loans for Fiji Airways if it is not operational - Gavoka

Govt cannot continue to guarantee loans for Fiji Airways if it is not operational - Gavoka

By Rashika Kumar
Saturday 23/10/2021
SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka says they cannot continue to guarantee loans for Fiji Airways if it is not operational as there are reports coming out of UK and Singapore that COVID-19 is again spiralling out of control.

While speaking against the motion for parliament to provide a guarantee on Fiji Airways loans, Gavoka says if things turn for the worse again and borders close, what do we have that will keep the national airline operational.

Gavoka says if nothing has happened to Fiji Airways in terms of revenue to enable it to service its debt then they will be asked to guarantee a bigger debt than what it has today.

He says it hinges on the ability of the national airline to start realizing revenue immediately.

Gavoka adds the Government needs to engage people from across the board, including the Opposition on what should be the limit to the guarantee they can give as the way they are going, they will be debating on another loan to guarantee next year.

Parliament has approved the increased Government guarantee to Fiji Airways borrowings by increasing the existing local approved guarantee from FJ$191.1 million to FJ$241.1 million and the offshore borrowings from US$117.1 million to US$142.1 million with the total guarantee ceiling increasing from FJ$455 million to FJ$561.4 million valid until the guaranteed facilities are discharged or fully settled; and that Fiji Airways be exempted from paying a guarantee fee.

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